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NASCAR's Favorite Driver: The Top Five Doesn't Inlcude Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 04:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, receives the Chex Most Popular Driver award during NASCAR Champions Week NMPA Myers Brothers Media Luncheon at Cipriani on December 4, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images
Lee ScogginsContributor ISeptember 21, 2010

NASCAR has announced current standings in the voting for the fan's favorite driver, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., appears nowhere in the top five. At least not in the voting for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

That's really not much of a surprise since he wasn't included as being eligible in those two series. There is no doubt that the chance Dale Jr., will repeat as most popular driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is pretty high.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the current top five, in alphabetical order are:

  • Aric Almirola
  • Johnny Benson
  • Ricky Carmichael
  • Austin Dillon
  • Ron Hornaday Jr.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises, in light of how few starts he's had this season, is Johnny Benson. The lack of sponsorship at Kyle Busch Motorsports took away his opportunity for this season and Johnny has been pretty much sidelined for the season.

The other drivers leading the way are not surprising and are some of the classiest drivers in the series. Austin Dillon has created a sizable fan base for himself with consistent performance and a humble demeanor.

This young man truly recognizes and appreciates the fantastic opportunity he has been given by his grandfather, Richard Childress. He also readily acknowledges that much of his success is connected to the organization his grandfather owns.

In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the top five vote candidates are headlined by Kyle Busch...NOT!

Busch's absence from the Most Popular lists would only be surprising if you didn't follow the sport. Instead, the current five top vote recipients are, again in alphabetical order:

  • Justin Allgaier
  • Carl Edwards
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Morgan Shepherd
  • Kenny Wallace

Morgan Shepherd and Kenny Wallace are perennial favorites in the Nationwide Series. Shepherd being admired for his competitiveness at an age when most drivers have long left the track.

Kenny Wallace is just an entertaining character who is fun to watch, even though he talks about his famous brother too much. And Rusty wishes he would talk about him more, and Mike less.

The biggest surprise to this writer is that Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards both sit in the top five.

Based on comments on NASCAR related discussion boards, there is no gray area when it comes to these two drivers. You either love them or you hate them. It appears that their fan base is pretty active in the voting for Most Popular Driver.

The balloting for Most Popular Driver in all three of NASCAR's top series continues until later in November.

Information on voting deadlines and links are listed below. Votes can also be e-mailed for write-ins to fanfeedback@nascar.com for drivers not listed at the official links.

Camping World Truck Series

http://www.nascar.com/news/features/2010.truck.mpd/Deadline: 11/12
Nationwide Serieshttp://www.nascar.com/news/features/2010.nationwide.mpd/index.htmlDeadline: 11/13

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